Honours Project Opportunities Plant Developmental Genetics

The research in my lab is centred on understanding mechanisms regulating plant shoot development, in particular how shoot meristems are maintained and how leaf organs are patterned and how these processes interconnect with plant growth. We work with the model dicot plant Arabidopsis thaliana and the model grass Brachypodium distachyon. Further information can be found at http://sydney.edu.au/science/biology/about_us/academic_staff/byrne_mary/.

Research interests

Plant development; plant shoot architecture; meristem function; leaf polarity; regulation of gene expression; ribosome function

Potential Honours Projects

Genes controlling plant fertility

Supervisor: Mary Byrne

In plants, the female gametes (eggs) are established in specialized tissues of the flowers, late in the plant life cycle. We have found that mutations in several ribosomal protein genes leads to degeneration of the female gametes and results in a dramatic reduction in plant fertility. Projects are available to study the developmental and molecular mechanisms of ribosomal protein regulation of fertility.

Genes controlling embryogenesis

Supervisor: Mary Byrne

A plant starts life as a single cell zygote. Stereotypical cell divisions result in progression of the embryo through a number of stages of development. One stage is a transition point when there are changes from maternal to zygotic gene expression. We have found that some ribosomal proteins mutants are blocked at this transitions stage. Projects are available to study the developmental and molecular mechanisms of ribosomal protein regulation of embryogenesis.